With all the talk about Millennials, some are referring to the Boomers as the “Ignored Generation.” It is undeniable that Boomer numbers are shrinking with the passing of the oldest members. And you can’t argue the fact that Boomer purchasing power is declining as more and more Boomers enter retirement. But the sheer size of this generation still presents a compelling target for savvy marketers. After all, Boomers are predicted to have $15 trillion worldwide spending power by the end of 2019, up from $6 million in 2010. Who wouldn’t like a piece of that?
Here are some additional statistics that may surprise you:
- The Boomer generation is defined as people aged 51 to 69, and there are nearly 75 million of them in the U.S. Compare that to U.S. Millennials (aged 18 to 34) at 76 million. Yes, there are one million more Millennials, but in fact, by 2017, 50% of the U.S. population will be over 50.
- The 50+ population has $2.4 trillion in annual income, 42% of all after-tax income in the U.S.
- Over the next 20 years, spending by people 50+ is expected to increase by 58%, while spending by Americans aged 25-50 will grow by only 24%.
- 70% of the disposable income in the U.S. is controlled by Boomers.
And don’t think all Boomers are out of the workforce. Over 60% of Boomer households have at least one person working. Among adults over the age of 18 who don’t currently own a business, Boomers are twice as likely as Millennials to plan to start a business in the next year. Boomers aged 55 to 64 started 24% of new businesses in 2013.
Additionally, Boomers are tech savvy. Eight in 10 boomers belong to at least one social networking site. And they use them: 16% of Boomers with a Facebook account report spending 11 or more hours per week on the site. In fact, Boomers spend more time online than Millennials: 51% of Boomers spend 15 hours per week online, while only 41% of Millennials spend that amount of time. One-third of all tablets are owned by people over 50, including 23% of iPads and 30% of all Kindle Fires.
And more importantly, Boomers shop online. On a per capita basis, Boomers outspend younger adults 2:1 online – by an estimated $400 billion per year. Nearly half of all Boomer tablet users and 40% of Boomer smartphone users made a purchase after conducting searches on their mobile devices.
Perhaps most compellingly, Boomers spend the most across all product categories, but are targeted by just 5% to 10% of all marketing dollars. Perhaps for that reason Boomers really are the ignored generation. However, the combination of purchasing power, technological ability, and few competitors competing for their dollar make the Boomer market very attractive to the savvy marketer.
It also pays to remember that Gen Y and Millennials aren’t getting any younger. Positioning your brand as the solution for the mature shopper could serve you well far into the future!